I have a scar on my stomach from where the surgery happened. Because of how long ago it was, it’s small. I don’t really think about it much, seeing how it’s been a part of me for all the life I can recall, but when I do, I remember that without it, I wouldn’t be here. It’s funny how something so insignificant to your thought makes all the difference to the longevity of your life. 

I was born a healthy baby. And for the first few months of my life, all was good. That is, until I had to be brought to the hospital when I couldn’t keep any food down. Pyloric Stenosis. Today, it’s treatable, but only with surgery. If I was born 20 years earlier, then things may be much different. P.S. is rare, but amongst those who have it, it’s 1 girl to every 10 boys, meaning I’m a rarity. Therefore, it must have come as a shock to my parents when I was diagnosed, and immediately after, brought back for surgery. 

To the surgeons who worked on an infant, thank you. It’s hard enough to be precise on a full grown adult in any surgery, so to be as precise on a baby must have been even more challenging. I can only imagine how much concentration must have gone into the process of a surgery like mine. So 23 years later, thank you for your concentration.

To the doctor who diagnosed me, thank you. Seeing that Pyloric Stenosis is rare, you must have really known your medical study well. The fact that you diagnosed the right condition in that situation had a huge impact on my wellbeing. Although you may not have been the one to ‘fix’ the problem, you were the one to catch it, so thank you two decades later. 

All these years later, I don’t know who to specifically thank, but I do know that God had a hand on everything. He was there when my parents figured out that something was wrong, He was there when the doctor pondered a diagnosis, He was there when surgery began and ended. He was there to make sure everything went well, to ease a shaking hand, or simply be a source of comfort for my mom and dad. He was there long before that day, and He’s been around ever since.

Struggles in life make you stronger, and sometimes, they come with scars to remind you of them. I wear this ugly scar proudly, knowing full well that without some ugliness, there’d be no beauty… just more of the same thing. Pyloric stenosis doesn’t define me, but it does remind me that all life is a gift, and all I can really do is thank the one who made sure I was here to live as much a life as possible. He works in mysterious ways, and through so many lives. I pray that the gift He gave me will someday work wonders, knowing that without some sort of purpose after, I’d just be done here. Each time He saves my life is another push to let me know that He isn’t finished with me yet.

With appreciation,

Melissa

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